29 August 2014

Friday 29th August

No Scarce birds today but it was pretty good with the more common migrants, I was out for about 4 hours on and off, and even if it started very slowly it soon picked up and eventually produced a total of 45 species. There was a slight movement of Hirundines with a total of 700 Swallows, 5 Sand Martins, 50 House Martins and 5 Swifts mainly heading north/west, which was also to the delight of 2 Hobbies which both took out one Swallow each with considerable ease. The paddocks produced 9 Whinchats, 9 Wheatears and 2 Yellow Wagtails, and there was a nice variety of raptors with 5 Common Buzzards including 3 hunting over the cement works, and 2 west late morning, 1 Peregrine, 2 Hobbies as mentioned, 3 Kestrels and 2 Sparrowhawks, warblers were once again a bit thin on the ground with just 6 Whitethroats, 6 Blackcaps, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Willow Warbler. Other bits were 70 Linnets, 70 Starlings, 40 House Sparrows, 1 Meadow Pipit, 10 Pied Wagtails, 3 Long-tailed Tits, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 10 Mistle Thrushes, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and 2 Goldfinches.  

Thursday 28th August

I received a call from Barry Hunt this morning (cheers mate), alerting me to a Barred Warbler at the Walpole Bay Hotel Cliftonville, unfortunately at the time I was taking my kids horse riding at Canterbury, but I managed to get back for a quick 45 spell later on in the afternoon. The Barred Warbler wasn't on show at the time, but Barry mentioned that he had a Wryneck close by, of course being one of my favourite birds it wasn't a difficult decision as where to go next. Barry and I then set off towards the area and within 15 minutes we had the bird in flight and then showing very briefly in a piece of gorse before once again being lost to view, and although it didn't show again its number 1 for the autumn, but the birds didn't stop there with 2 Redstarts, 3+ Whinchats, 4+ Wheatears and a single Willow Warbler which made a brief but excellent visit. Dave Gilbert covered the cemo late this afternoon for over an hour and recorded 4 Whinchats, 1 Wheatear, 190 Swallows, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk and 2 Cormorants but surely a Wryneck can not be far away.

Wednesday 27th August

Yellow Wagtail
I managed another couple of hours this morning and it was fairly quiet, but at least its that time of year once again that one of my favourite birds the Wryneck could well turn up, so keeps fingers crossed, with a record autumn total of 6 birds last year and a patch average of at least 1 every year I am more than hopeful. Today's sightings were 1 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear, 14 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Hobby, 2 Whitethroats (certainly a clear out of warblers), 4 House Martins, 20 Swallows, 1 Sparrowhawk, 14 Pied Wagtails, 100+ Linnets, 10 House Sparrows, 7 Mistle Thrushes and 3 Green Woodpeckers

Tuesday 26th August

Well there's me saying that I am really looking forward to some August birding, but its been quite the opposite so far and I have been pretty much grounded with trips for the kids, but hey that's the fun of school holidays and I do enjoy it. Today at last I had a little bit of spare time and managed 3 hours including an early morning spell, and 2 hours this afternoon in the heavy rain, hmm, but it was good to be out with a few migrants on show thanks to a fairly strong easterly wind. At long last I had some Whinchats (first of 2 this autumn), also my first Wheatears with 4 birds in the paddocks, the biggest surprise was 4 Grey Plovers which headed north late on, and 3 Grey Herons which headed in the same direction early this morning. The cemo was quiet apart from 3 Spotted Flycatchers which were by the Garden of Rest, there was also a scattering of warblers including 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Willow Warbler, 12 Whitethroats and 7 Blackcaps, a Grey Wagtail went north and there was an early morning movement of 140 Swallows heading mainly south in an overall total of 170. Other bits were 7 Yellow Wagtails, 2 House Martins, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 10 House Sparrows, 60 Starlings, 100+ Linnets, 10 Pied Wagtails, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 27 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 30 Ring-necked Parakeets, 1 Goldcrest and 2 Common Crossbills which were briefly in the crematorium late on.

Friday 15th August

Miserable early morning weather doesn't necessarily mean a quiet time, but today it did, and it was certainly a lot more quieter than the last 2 days. Best of the bunch was a Tree Pipit heading east over the cemo, with the rest being 4 Willow Warblers, 1 Garden Warbler, 16 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 1 Sparrowhawk 40 Swallows, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 3 Goldfinches, 10 Pied Wagtails, 30 Linnets, 10 Ring-necked Parakeets and a very impressive count of 250 Carrion Crows in fields around the paddocks. This afternoon Dave Gilbert added 2 Common Buzzards to the list. 

Thursday 14th August

Hummingbird Hawk-moths Mating
Today I watched the area from 6:40 - 9:15am, and it was pretty good with a couple of extra returning migrants. Once again first thing there was a few warblers on show and included 5 Garden Warblers, 16 Whitethroats, 7 Blackcaps, 2 Willow Warblers and a single Chiffchaff. The first returning Spotted Flycatcher was in the Garden of Rest, and an early Merlin shot through the allotments carrying remains of its recent meal. The other addition from yesterday was a Whimbrel which headed north, a rather large female Peregrine around nearby fields and 6 Swifts by the cement works. Some other bits in the total of 41 species were 2 Yellow Wagtails, 40 Swallows, 1 Common Buzzard east, 1 Chaffinch, 3 Goldfinches, 1 Cormorant east, 40 Linnets, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 3 Pied Wagtails, 10 House Sparrows and 30 Starlings. Also of interest was a pair of Hummingbird Hawk-moths.

Wednesday 13th August

Common Buzzard
To start with there are a few August days to write up yet (due to computer problem), but I will start with today's and catch up with the rest in the next couple of days. I managed to get out between 6:15 - 10:15am, which is pretty good in one spell during the school holidays, so this was a nice added bonus, not only that but within this time I managed to record an excellent 50 Species. Best of all was a Raven which headed east at 7:50am, but was originally not seen and out of sight in fields behind the paddocks being mobbed by the local Corvids, so it was a slight surprise when this shot off the ground and not a Fox as most likely expected. Before this it belonged to the Warblers with an early morning count of 4 Garden Warblers, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Willow Warblers, 1 Chiffchaff, 16 Whitethroats and 4 Blackcaps. Raptors also fared good with an early arrival of 4 Common Buzzards which came through between 9-9:30am, heading east, a slight surprise this early on, but there was also 2 Hobbies hunting over nearby fields, 1 Sparrowhawk and 4 Kestrels, so what the rest of the day brought raptor wise well who knows. Other bits around was a juvenile Cuckoo (with 4 birds recently present), 2 Greylag Geese east, 3 Cormorants north, 6 Yellow Wagtails, 40 Swallows, 3 House Martins, 2 Grey Partridges, 3 Chaffinches, 7 Goldfinches, 10 Mistle Thrushes, 110 Linnets, 6 Long-tailed Tits, 4 Pied Wagtails, 4 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Great Black-backed Gull and 40 Ring-necked Parakeets.

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